Cover Image: Six Stories

Six Stories

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Member Reviews

Oh my gosh! This book was fantastic. I enjoyed the layout of the story and the way the characters and information were presented. I like the dual perspectives of present and past and the way they end up colliding. Loved it!

Scott King, a journalist and podcast host, is making an attempt to find out who or what killed Tom Jeffries in Scarclaw Fell. His life ended in 1997. It is now 2017.  There is a story to be told, people to interview, and a mystery to solve.  Nothing is ever what it seems.  Remember, sociopaths are capable of looking like the boy/girl next door. Be careful who you trust.  Your actions may come back to haunt you.

Psst! Will be purchasing Hydra (Six Stories #2).

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and Matt Wesolowski for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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I had never read a book like this before! it was an interesting take on the story, and I LOVED it. I love trying to figure stories out and this one kept me wondering. I loved it! Ii would definitely read more by this author.
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This book was chosen as a guest favorite on episode 80 of What Should I Read Next, called "The suspense is thrilling me,"
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Unfortunately, I tried to go out of my genre and it didnt work for me
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After reading myriad glowing reviews of this novel throughout the year, I had high expectations. I was not disappointed. An outstanding debut thriller that incorporates a cold case murder and folk legends in the rather unique format of a modern day podcast.

Back in 1996, Tom Jeffries, just fifteen years of age, went missing on Northumberland's atmospheric Scarclaw Fell.  He was one of five teenagers who were attending an outdoor adventure trip to Scarclaw Fell Woodlands Centre.

Scott King runs a series of podcasts which investigate cold cases. His latest investigation examines the Scarclaw Fell tragedy of 1996. He intends to interview six different people who were a part of the tragedy back then, hoping to glean some insight into the tragedy by seeing the events that took place via six different perspectives - or Six Stories.

Harry Saint Clement-Ramsay, the son of the man who owns the land that encompasses Scarclaw Fell, and who found Tom Jeffries body a year after he went missing. After an inquest, the death of Tom Jeffries was deemed misadventure, with no signs of foul-play.

Derek Bickers, outdoorsman and leader of the Rangers group of children and adolescents who frequently visited the Scarclaw Fell Woodlands Centre. He was the adult in charge of the youth the weekend that Tom Jeffries went missing. For a while he was a suspect in the case.

"Even in daylight, there's darkness on Scarclaw".

The teenagers at Scarclaw that night had all been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. In addition to this rebellious conduct, they told each other sinister stories of mythic entities that were said to inhabit Scarclaw Fell. Stories that perhaps were instigated by the locals to frighten their children so they would stay away from the Fell and the many dangerous, disused mines it contained. The most popular story they told to frighten each other was the story of Nanna Wrack. A marsh hag that was thought to feed off bodies in the marshy land of Scarclaw Fell. Then there is the story of the Belkeld Beast. (Belkeld being the name of the village closest to Scarclaw).

"Mother, is that father's form at the door?
It's taller and longer than ever before,
His face is all white, coat black like a loon,
His teeth glow like blades in the light of the moon."

They all maintained that they were asleep when Tom Jeffries disappeared.

"Kids are like packs of wild animals. And the pack has certain characters. There are leaders, voices of reason, the brains, the brawn, the wild card, the outsider...the victim."

Charlie Armstrong, the alpha of the small band of teenage friends. Also fifteen years of age, but a rebel who smoked and drank, dressed differently, and, like most teenagers his age, was full of confusion and anger.

Eva Bickers, (the fifteen year-old daughter of Derek Bickers) was sort of second-in-command to Charlie, who was a life-long friend of hers.

Anyu Kekkonen, the strategist, the brains. A quiet enigma. Brian Mings is devoted to her. Eva is her best-friend.

"Like water-torture, or death by a thousand cuts. 'Professional bullies crush your soul a sliver at a time."

Brian Mings, a follower, a victim of bullying, a boy desperate for approval and acceptance by his peers. His parents had separated due to his father's alcoholism and PTSD. Brian was an only child, lonely at home and shunned by his peers.

Tom Jeffries, the murder victim, a rough and tumble youth who joined the Rangers later than the others. He had a reputation for delinquency, and was seen as controlling and manipulative. When Tom joined the group, he quickly became Charlie's 'right-hand man'. The two boys 'wound each other up'.

And then there is Haris Novak. What we would now term a 'vulnerable adult', Haris was autistic, a reclusive loner and nature enthusiast. He showed the teens his 'secret place', an old disused mine entrance, where he liked to go to watch the bats. He was deemed the prime suspect in the case of the death of Tom Jeffries - though many thought he was just an easy scapegoat. Haris was manipulated and preyed upon by the teenagers.

As you read, you learn the dynamic of the group. What they thought of each other, who was sleeping with who. How the power shifted over time... My only quibble with the novel is that I felt no real sympathy for Tom, the murder victim.

As the story is told from six different viewpoints, I was reminded how memory is selective. How different people's perceptions can be of the same event. This novel cleverly used this premise, and with a delicious twist at the end, the reader comes to understand what did happen that tragic night in 1996. This is a dark and creepy murder mystery. Highly recommended!
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I have never read a book in the style this one was written. I love how it was written as a podcast, it was very unique and I have not read anything else like it. The jumping between podcast recording to characters talking was a little confusing at first, but once I kept reading and learned the characters, it was not an issue. The story was amazing and had good twists and turns. I would definitely read other books by this author.
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See link to goodreads review
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4.5 stars! 

Six Stories is a tense, atmospheric, and chilling psychological thriller. Not only is the cover beautiful, but the content is so original and unique! Seriously, go buy it if you haven’t already!! The novel is written in a series of podcasts that felt all too real to me. With each episode, Wesolowski revealed another layer of the story and I was very impressed with how everything came together. I highly recommend!
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"Welcome to Six Stories. I'm Scott King. In the next six weeks, we will be looking back at the Scarclaw Fell tragedy of 1996. We'll be doing so from six different perspectives; seeing the events that unfolded through six pairs of eyes."

Six Stories is creative and has an unique story-telling style. Told as a series of podcasts, each chapter has someone telling the same story but in a different perspective. It was slow building for me but the 2nd half pulls you in with the surprises and revelations. 

I highly recommend this book.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Trafalgar Square Publishing for supplying a copy of Matt Wesolowski's "Six Stories" in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a book that strives to bring something new to the suspense genre, riding on the coattails of the popular podcast Serial, urging readers to follow along and draw their own conclusions about the mysterious death at hand. If you haven’t experienced Serial (seriously, what are you waiting for?), the format of this book and the many times the podcast itself is mentioned, just might drive you to give it a listen. Believe me, you won’t regret it; both seasons have proven to be wholly addicting and beyond intriguing true crime.

In fact, it was my love for the actual podcast that landed this work of fiction in my hands. Similar to Serial, this story is told over a series of weekly podcast episodes; six to be exact, hence the title. Sadly, I can’t say this book is anywhere near as gripping as the podcast it so willingly attached itself to. There’s nothing bold, noteworthy or even excitingly different about the plot itself, it’s simply the delivery that makes it feel shiny and new.

While I liked it enough to keep reading, I wasn’t gaga over the storyline or the cast of characters, like so many other readers seem to be. I guess, I shouldn’t be surprised, my picky ways tend to land me at a table for one quite often. Why would I think this particular book would be an exception?

The six people within the vicinity of Tom Jeffries that fateful night, twenty years earlier, are interviewed in an effort to unravel his mysterious death. The varying perspectives lend the plot twists, skew the attempts at nailing down a timeline, foil the flow of truth and manage to drum-up some doubt. What was absent was any inkling of feelings for these characters, on my part. To be blunt, I just didn’t care enough. Maybe it was the shorter length of the book or the fact that it was almost entirely a question and answer format (am I contradicting myself now?) that hindered any sort of emotional connection on my end.

And here I go wrestling with my own wishy-washy thoughts some more—there's one aspect of the ending I found surprising, but then there’s the part that was sort of expected. Ok, maybe expected isn’t the right word to use. I guess a better way to say this is—there are only so many possible motives—and leave it at that. Or, been there done that . . . many times before.

While not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, this just wasn’t the stellar read I was hoping for. It’s not one I’ll look back on in a few months and reminisce about or feel the hankering to re-read. In fact, at this point in time, it feels all too forgettable. So far, it’s proven to be one that other suspense lovers are eating up though, so by all means, don’t let my sliver of discontent hold you back.
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This novel Is a creative, if derivative,  use of the newest storytelling tool of podcasts.  Wesolowski has found a way to amp up the tension in what is essentially an investigation of a long past murder, which is no mean trick.  Even better, each "voice" is unique and adds to the whole.  Loved the setting- Scarclaw Fell is wonderfully described and a partner in the tale.  I liked this more than I expected to.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Try it for a well done mystery/thriller.
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I adored this story. The unique style in which it was told offered a view into the story and the characters without adding in any extraneous detail. Despite the lack of descriptions there was a great sense of the setting and atmosphere throughout the whole book. The story itself was intriguing and held my attention. I enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery and the look into the mind of each of the characters, as seen through interviews. The book was creepy, mysterious and very compelling. If you love mysteries and thrillers with a creepy edge to them you should give this book a try!
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The creep factor is at an all time high in this spectacular debut novel by Matt Wesolowski.  Six Stories stands out to me not only for its uniqueness, but also for the genius behind this dark and addicting read.  Told from six different perspectives through the course of six interviews being spotlighted in a podcast, narrator Scott King attempts  to reconstruct  the events that led up to the killing of a local teenager named Tom Jeffries.  I loved how the author weaved both the modern (with the podcast aspect) in with the ancient (urban legends and myths) for this inventive and exceptional  spin on a thriller.  I blindly trusted the podcast narrator as he discussed the circumstances surrounding the death of Tom.   It felt so real as I was reading it, I could hear the narrator in my head, (he spoke like James Earl Jones) and vivid imagery of a sinister  monster haunting the woods played across my mind.   He was after all, unbiased (or so I thought), presenting facts that he had acquired through the course of his interviews, letting me decide what the outcome and conclusion would be to this twisted tale.  I did not see the ending coming and I absolutely LOVED what the author did.  I am not sure what book to compare this to because I have never read anything like this…. the format is completely unique.   If you are looking for an addicting, suspenseful, hair-raising read, then pick up a copy of Six Stories today.  This was easily a 5 star read for me and would be an EXCELLENT book club pick.  Thank you so much to Netgalley and Orenda books  for an advanced copy of this chilling read in exchange for my honest review.
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Creative, unique and unforgettably absorbing!

This a brilliantly crafted, character-driven thriller that takes us on a journey to solve a 20-year-old murder and spotlights the physical and psychological effects and consequences of bullying.

The writing style is unconventional, with the narration being told completely through true-crime podcasts and some internal musings. And the characterization is raw with a cast of teenage characters that are young, rebellious, impressionable, and impulsive. 

Overall, I have to say this is a short but incredibly gripping story with a whodunit plot that is modern, fresh, eerie, disturbing and wonderfully shocking.

Thank you to Orenda Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book premise seemed very interesting, I was very excited, but I could not get into this book. Maybe it was me, but the book was hard to keep up with. One minute you were in the present, the next paragraph you were back in the past. The storyline was a good one. A podcast about an incident that happened years ago with the people that were there and their recollections. I just could not get into this book. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the advanced copy of the book in return for my honest review.
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I was attracted to this book because of the format it was being presented in: as though it were a podcast with 6 episodes. Scott King, the podcast host, finds old mysteries that haven’t been solved and investigates them over the course of six podcast episodes. While I read the episodes I remained interested in the original mystery and waited for some new piece of information to pop up to either expose what really happened or take the story in a completely different direction. Quickly, a supernatural myth character is introduced and I thought that might somehow be the twist. It definitely provided a great counterbalance to a modern day techie podcast. What happens, I won’t tell you. I will tell you that there was an “ah ha!” moment that made me smile. This was a well devised and presented book and definitely a fun read!
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What a unique read! Capitalizing on the recent success of the iTunes podcasts 'Serial', but in book form. This could have been a hot mess, but it is really well done. In fact I would bet that the audio is even better!

I grabbed this book from NetGalley after I keep seeing a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews. The marketing synopsis really doesn't do it justice, so once again Goodreads came through in directing me to a great read that I wouldn't have picked out on my own.

Strong in characterization, the story surrounds the mysterious unsolved murder of a young teen named Tom Jeffries, dating back 20 years ago.  In each podcast, those closest to him at that time share their version of what happened that fateful night as well as the months leading up to it.
This is where the author shines, and to me is what made this read so enjoyable. Each character has a different spin on what took place as well as their own perception about personalities and how everyone interacted with each other. It's left to the reader to try and filter through the muck and determine who is closest to the truth, up until that last 6th podcast...

Why not a 5 star rating?
While the author did a nice job of providing an atmospheric read, I really didn't enjoy the whole 'scary Monster' theme throughout. I actually felt it took away from the intensity instead of enhancing it, and I didn't quite get the creepy feeling I think others may have felt. 

But this is definitely a read I think any mystery lover will enjoy and highly recommend you give this a read! (or listen!) 

ARC provided by NetGalley
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Wow. That was really unexpectedly creepy. While not my typical genre pick or anything I would read often, I can't dock stars or say it was awful. Scary, sad, and terrifying? Yes. But not horribly written. I enjoyed the unique format. This reads very much like a documentary. I won't say I loved it. I know it's a high rating. But that's because I feel it did its extended job.  Even though I'm not really happy about it. Haha.
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Six Stories is a creepy, atmospheric, suspense filled psychological thriller fueled by unreliable memories coupled with fear, myth, and darkness. 

“We like to give things names, personify our darkness.” 

On a camping trip 20 years ago in eerie Scarclaw Fell, 15 year old Tom Jeffries went missing. His body turned up a year later. While police didn’t entertain murder at the time, his story made headlines and became a national sensation. 

Told in the format of six podcasts covering Tom’s disappearance, small details begin to emerge. Once again, Tom’s story has captivated a nation. Now told through the eyes of those who experienced the Fell. As each story is shared, more and more is revealed about Tom, the myths that surround Scarclaw Fell, and the group of teens who were Tom’s “friends.” Who or what was behind Tom’s disappearance? 

Six Stories got under my skin and creeped me out! I enjoyed the format and the setting of Scarclaw Fell made this book into something special!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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I don't know where to start, it was just so good. I put this in my Top 5 Mystery/Thrillers I have ever read. The format as a podcast, first of all, was genius, very much like Serial (Adnan it). The story is told so directly because of this format. I lapped this up and just couldn't get enough. For an adult murder mystery, it was also relatively clean as far as violence and sex is concerned (plenty of f-word, though, but mostly associated with certain characters who would use it so it made some sense). Character development was superb - you really got to know the characters as the story was being told and each perspective was given. I thought it was obvious who the culprit was pretty early on, so the reveal seemed a bit dramatic and comical to me. But I couldn't stop smiling when I was done reading. Like I was in shock or something. I just didn't want it to end. And the story is resolved but NOT resolved. I'm all for a sequel...

Thank you to NetGalley and Trafalgar Square Publishing / Orenda Books for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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